Skip to main content

Grateful Dead Live at Oklahoma City Fairgrounds Arena on 1973-10-19

Audio Preview

Grateful Dead Live at Oklahoma City Fairgrounds Arena on 1973-10-19

Topics Live concert

This show has been commercially released as Dick's Picks Vol. 19

Promised Land, Sugaree, Mexicali Blues, Tennessee Jed, Looks Like Rain, Don't Ease Me In, Jack Straw, They Love Each Other, El Paso, Row Jimmy, Playin' In The Band China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, Me & My Uncle, Mississippi Half Step, Big River, Dark Star-> Mind Left Body Jam-> Morning Dew, Sugar Magnolia Eyes Of The World-> Stella Blue, Johnny B. Goode*

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Oklahoma City Fairgrounds Arena
Location Oklahoma City, OK

Source Soundboard
Lineage MR> DAT> CDR


mR> DAT> CDR; complete; E2 is tracked for d2, but could fit on 80min d3; via JW Norris, R. Nayfield; update 10/23/00: this date is now released as Dick's Picks 19- go buy that


Reviewer: njpg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 1, 2016
Subject: -
Yeah, for a show it's good. For a live album it's OK, and it fits on 3 CDs.
Reviewer: Mind Wondrin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 25, 2015
Subject: Blowin' Up

The Fall '73 period is really blowin' up. Since this show was officially released, most of this period has gone into hard-copy (16 partial and full shows so far). This show probably isn't as good, overall, as some of the shows the next couple months (particularly 11/14, but also 11/9, 11/30, 12/02,& 12/19), but the highlights are red-hot and there's a packed setlist with both extended Playin' and Dark Star jams. This was the start of a 7-city Midwest mini-tour after recording (and quickly releasing!) Wake of the Flood. It was the only time they played this venue (though they played OKC's Zoo amphitheater in '81, '82 and '85).

First Set. Starts with average playing and average (for '73) sound, but both improve. Following a Merry-go-round Broke Down is the first non-Gallows Mexicali. Flubs plague Tennessee Jed, and Looks Like Rain has horrendous slide playing that flirts with a trainwreck (not all Jer touched turned gold). Like taking a deep breath, they spit out the first winner, a Dough Knees with seat-of-the-pants, careening fire. Bobby false-starts an average Jack Straw but helps perfect a solid They Love Each Other. Though the Donnaskreech™ is minor, Playin' isn't the tip-top of the period; but that's only 'cause there's so many good ones!

Second Set. Like most 73s, China>Rider has a so-called "Feelin' Groovy", but doesn't quite gel. What does, is Jer alternating from the top and the bottom of the neck during Me & My Uncle. Dark Star starts in situ, then jams 12 1/2 minutes before the first verse. It's not the most inspiring of the 73s until the unexpected "MLB jam". It's the first one, and though the chord sequence is simple enough that they DID come across it before (most obviously 5Mar72 during a Good Lovin'), part of the magic is that it sounds like they just found them this night. Morning Dew sound like a '69, and with Phil bombs it slowly gets better...and better (looks like Jer had this mapped). Sugar Magnolia has a daring, contrasting solo. The encore turns into a third set because they whipped up an Eyes (for encore!). Jer plays surprisingly similar to the Wake of the Flood studio version. Nice tempo, very fluid and even fills, with runs and double-stops - even while singing. The long end-jam is very busy. It's not always the height of excitement when Stella Blue starts but this one flourishes. At over two hours for the set, they were in the mood to play!

1st Set:  C
2nd Set: B
Overall = 3 1/2 Stars

Don't Ease Me In - rickety excitement
They Love Each Other - almost always solid in '73
Me & My Uncle - Jer tried hard to make this a little different
Mind Left Body Jam - the jam from Dark Star>Dew is a must-hear; and not just historically
Morning Dew - what do you think: is the cool jam planned or found?
Eyes of the World - I don't know how many times they encored it, but I know it's busy and sweet
Stella Blue - a powerful leave-'em-wowed dénouement

SOURCES: The nayfield SBD or Dicks Picks #19.
-jjf47, we're just assuming that by now somebody showed you how to use your computer/device/click play, to stream the audio.
- Another nice review from Kochman (below).
Reviewer: JamsOnly - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 5, 2015
Subject: Dick Knows Good Shows
Highlights: Playing In The Band, Dark Star, Mind Left Body Jam, Morning Dew, Eyes of The World, Stella Blue
Reviewer: jjg4762 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 29, 2015
Subject: Love this mlb jam
I sure hope those below me have found a way to listen to this one. The Mind Left Body > Morning Dew is Amazing in itself. Along with the rest of the show. I know some say they did not really get cooking till Don't Ease but that's what always made these guys the best of the best to me.
Reviewer: kochman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 31, 2014
Subject: 1st MLB Jam? I don't think so, but great show never the less!
10/19/73 Oklahoma City Fairgrounds Arena, Oklahoma City, Ok. (Fri)
This review is written based on DP19

Promised Land ;
Sugaree ;
Mexicali Blues ;
Tennessee Jed ;
Looks Like Rain ;
Don't Ease Me In ;
Jack Straw ;
They Love Each Other ;
El Paso ;
Row Jimmy ;
Playing In The Band [17:00]

China Cat Sunflower >;
I Know You Rider ;
Me And My Uncle ;
Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo ;
Big River [4:50] ;
Dark Star [27:04] >
Mind Left Body Jam >
Morning Dew [8:#12] ;
Sugar Magnolia [9:24]

Encore: Eyes Of The World >
Stella Blue ;
Johnny B. Goode

Comments: First "Mind Left Body Jam", {Dark Star 0:00 > First Verse 12:05 to 13:45 > Mind Left Body 15:35 to 20:50 > the tiger 22:35 to 23:40-ish > cut 25:05 > end 25:20} DB IX lists Eyes > Stella as E1, JBG as E2

Bobby starts us off with Promised Land, and though this is an official release, it still suffers from early balance issues, with the keys figuring in prominently while the guitars are barely to be heard.
Sugaree provides a nice opportunity to get those guitar levels where they need to be, and it is fixed fairly early.
Mexicali brings what you would expect.
TN Jed is really the first song where things start to get weird, in the finale.
Don't Ease surprised me, but maybe it has been the lackluster setlist thus far that made it stand out?
Jack Straw, the answer to the previous question is, the Don't Ease is where the energy really was injected into the set, followed by a great Jack Straw...
And a great, upbeat TLEO
El Paso could have used a bit higher Jerry in the balance.
Row Jimmy is a bit slow, of course, but the Jerry solos are special.
PITB starts with a great tempo, energy and weirdness seem to be where they need to be, with Billy having apparently sprouted extra limbs during the verses. Hitting the jam, Jerry immediately goes into slow cooking his noodles. He turns up the temperature around the 6 minute mark, as we get into prime PITB territory. In the 8th minute we get deep into some X-factor, with the two guitars and Keith getting synching into each other. Jerry pushes out ahead of the pack, as we would expect. A psychedelic return to theme followed by an only somewhat offensive Donna groove bust scream, and we've got A+ version of PITB, definitely the set's highlight!

Phollowing a Phil-tastic couple of notes Bobby breaks into the opening pattern of China>Rider to open the second set. This China is great, coming off the heels of the PITB, the intermission doesn't seem to have hurt the boys. Though China is listed at 9 minutes, as soon as they hit the transition they make the switch into the Rider portion (before the 4th minute) which means we get about 5 minutes of Rider Jam! Just what the doctor ordered. Around 7:30 they do the feeling groovy jam or whatever it is called, which I think they could have done without in general, but the do manage to keep some of the intensity the Rider Jam was creating.
MAMU is brimming with energy, great stuff! Bobby gets a little overzealous vocally, but that's from time to time. He has kept it legit most of the show.
1/2 Step is one of the best of the year, maintaining a nice tempo and energy.
Big River is exactly what you would expect, specifically in the pre-meat sequence slot.
Dark Star> MLB Jam> Dew> Sugar Magnolia
Dark Star goes into the weird zone quite quickly, but maintains a good tempo before hitting the verse at around 12 minutes in. The CD tracking cuts into MLB, but that doesn't actually begin until just over a minute into the jam. Great MLB Jam, some would say the first, I wouldn't but I'm scoring it that way. By the 6th minute it disintegrates into just some noodling, but it was a nice little jaunt. The noodles take us into a Tiger Jam, which while it doesn't reach the highest, scariest heights that it can was welcome. Dew makes it way out of the madness in good time. Serious Phil Bombs and Jerry crescendos around 6 minutes in, and the finale beginning just before 11 minutes is also heavy, though leaning more of chords (including fanning). Out of the ashes, Bobby finds his Sugar Magnolia, blossoming it as well as ever.
Encore: Eyes> Stella
Eyes is a great choice for the encore after what just went down to close the set.
JBG, always a favorite.

Performance Summary
The first set was marred with sound issues, lack of energy issues, plus a crappy early setlist. It does pick up with the Don't Ease, surprising as that was to me, and by the end of the set we get a masterfully done PITB.
The second set, on the other hand, is brimming with energy and improvisational chances that pay off, including the first solid MLB Jam they ever played.

Sound Quality
Well, the initial sound issues are a case of "you can't polish a turd", if the master's are poor, or the sound crew blew the balance, that's tough to finish. I would have expected the balance issues to be easier to mitigate for a qualified sound crew.
Reviewer: Incornsyucopia - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 17, 2014
Subject: To jjf47
As is says, it can't be listened to because once a show is commercially released then it isn't supposed to be available here (although thankfully there are some exceptions...) The reviews were either made by people when it was still available here or have left reviews knowing the recording. If you look around online they can usually be found... (etree, lossless legs, etc.)
Reviewer: jjf47 - - October 20, 2012
Subject: how do you listen to this show...?
people have written reviews, note how great the show is, but there's way to access the tape in order to listen to it. how did these people listen to the show, or do they have the pick-dick tape and simply going off that? what gives... why is it here if you can't listen to the damn thing...? any insight, let me know. thanks. i'm giving this no rating right now simply because i can't access in order to listen to it. love. peace.
Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 13, 2012
Subject: Dick's Picks 19
Set 1 has some mumbled lyrics here and there, but really does deliver playingwise. Looks Like Rain is absolutely gorgeous, and how 'bout that Playin' in the Band? Man, that is just pure freaking JAZZ FUNK COOL.

Set 2 is absolute '73 solid gold, totally dialed in. Star > MLB > Dew runs the gamut, and Phil is all over this entire set, bouncing heavily as he liked to do with the Wall.

The Eyes > Stella encore really feels like a mini 3rd set - they drive that Eyes like it's a set opener!

DP19 is totally worth getting - love the way the vocals sound (esp. Bobby's).
Reviewer: warrenwren - - September 14, 2012
Subject: fairgrounds arena
if it's the show you grew up on, then you love it and everything about it
Reviewer: Brooklyn Peach - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 18, 2011
Subject: Love this show!
I've just about worn out my Dick's Picks copy of this show! For me it illustrates one of the best things about the Dead: they really play to their audience, and the Dead you see in Boston is vastly different from the the Dead you see in Oklahoma City.
Reviewer: Cliff Hucker - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 7, 2010
Subject: One of the very best from '73...
This is a bonafide five-star performance! And being available in vault-remastered sound quality only entrenches it in the top-ten for 1973.

Minimal sloppiness at the beginning of a couple of second set tracks is more than compensated by some of the jazziest jamming the band ever performed. The extended China/Rider segue is one of the best of all time! (99 pts)
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 7, 2010
Subject: you guys are a little harsh
while i agree this is nowhere near the best of '73, i personally think this is a damn fine show. the Playin', as mentioned, is a monster, but i also really like the Dark Star, which rides a nice spacey groove for its first half, and then after a typically great phil solo, the MLB jam kicks in for some great melodic playing from garica, melting down into some good freekout jamming. the Morning Dew that follows is intense, perhaps the finest version of the year.

the Eyes is also really hot; the minor key sections meander a bit but 'stronger than dirt' has some really hot soloing from jer too.

other nice cuts from this show include a Sugaree with a sweet jerry vocal, a bouncy Don't Ease, a jazzy El Paso, and a ballsy MAMU, which typically is a throwaway.

like i said, this isn't a five star, solid gold performance, but i really don't understand all the hate; DP 19 is certainly worth the investment.
Reviewer: - favoritefavorite - December 7, 2009
Subject: Agree not a great show
The boys were returning from a break, looked like a great set list, but found it to be very uninspired. The only exception being the Playin', it was fantastic, and as good as any in 73. Can't say the same for the rest of the show. Like everything in life, some days you're on some you're not.
Reviewer: Since 77 - favoritefavoritefavorite - December 1, 2009
Subject: What was Dick thinking?
No offense, but I wonder if Dick might have just wanted to include a DP from an under-repesented part of the USA, because this is not that great of a show. This release is an exception to Dick's normally impeccable eye for quality shows. Please understand: having been raised in Oklahoma, I WANTED to like this show. Maybe my expectations when I bought this DP were unrealistic. I can only speak for myself and my opinion is that it's just not that good. And for a commercial release (again, IMHO)the sound is awful.
Even the China/Rider is below average. I am in a generous mood, and I am not taking into consideration that I paid good money for this show (which I am always happy to do, by the way). I'm giving it 3 stars because the show and the sound are average at best.
Reviewer: mikeyank99 - - April 9, 2009
Subject: dps
fuck dick and his pks
Reviewer: My Brother Esau - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 5, 2008
Subject: MLB jam
The first appearance is reportedly 03/05/72.

It's in the Good Lovin'.
Reviewer: juanie - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 28, 2004
Subject: worth purchasing
A solid show from the wonderful fall 1973 tour. Excellent Dark Star and first MLB jam.
info Stream Only
Stream playlist
( VBR )
In Collection
Grateful Dead
In Collection
Live Music Archive
Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 4/5/2004
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 54,429
favorite 55
comment 37
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 37 reviews )
Source: Soundboard and Audience composite
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 24,568
favorite 57
comment 60
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 60 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 6,008
favorite 4
comment 6
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 6 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 52,674
favorite 94
comment 54
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 54 reviews )
Source: Soundboard and Audience composite
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 13,234
favorite 30
comment 23
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 23 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 20,864
favorite 44
comment 40
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 40 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 5,547
favorite 15
comment 15
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 15 reviews )
Source: Soundboard and Audience Composite
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 115,672
favorite 191
comment 93
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 93 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 16,464
favorite 44
comment 19
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 19 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 18,324
favorite 9
comment 8
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 8 reviews )
Source: Soundboard and Audience composite